Breakup is one of the worst experiences a person can go through. It can break you and leave you battered and bruised, unsure if you’re ever going to love again. If you’ve ever been through a breakup, you know all the pop-culture stereotypes about how you should feel and act. But what happens when you don’t feel this way?
When my long-term relationship ended, I didn’t cry. I didn’t get drunk, eating ice cream and screaming my heart out to Taylor Swift’s songs. On some level, it concerned me. Was I that cold? Do I not have emotions? Did I not care about him? Was it even love? It made me wonder why I was reacting this way, so I asked myself multiple questions.
Where’s the pain I’m supposed to experience after a breakup?
All the books, TV shows, and movies told me that I should cry, scream, and sleep all day while watching the Bridget Jones movies. But I didn’t want to do that. I didn’t feel the need to curl up in a ball under a blanket and reminisce about my past relationship. I wasn’t hurting, and I wasn’t devastated. Instead, I felt… nothing.
Where’s the crippling depression I’m supposed to experience?
I’m not sad, so it must mean it wasn’t love, I kept thinking. After all, who in their right mind would not feel sad after ending a relationship that meant so much to them? I tried forcing myself to relive the breakup, hoping that I was bottling things up or experiencing denial. But nothing happened. I started to feel like something was wrong with me.
Where’s the heartbreak I’m supposed to feel?
Why am I not mourning almost three years of my life? We had some amazing times, so why am I not heartbroken? I couldn’t understand what was happening and why it was happening. Until something clicked in my brain.
See, when you’re the only one trying and fighting for your relationship, you slowly start to distance yourself emotionally from your partner.
You start reacting less, paying less attention, and ignoring things that would normally bother you because, well, you don’t really care anymore. You burnt out. So, over time, you slowly start to break up with them in your head, unknowingly. And when the time for the actual real-life breakup comes, you have already gone through all the stages of grief. So, you have nothing left to give.
When you’re the only one trying to fix things and make them work without reciprocation, you slowly but surely fall out of love in real-time. That happened to me. I knew I wasn’t happy for months, yet I was scared to call it quits. Instead, I became more distant and cold. As weeks and months went by leading to our breakup, I experienced all the pain and devastation one experiences after the breakup. So, I was completely fine.
It still took me time to be ready to date again, but I didn’t need to go through the traditional breakup experience. While you might think that makes me a monster, I experienced my own level of pain during the relationship. So, I felt free once it was over. I’m glad it happened, but I’m glad it’s over too.
So, if you’re going through a breakup right now but don’t feel sad, know that you’re not alone. I’ve been there too. Nothing is wrong with you, and you deserve to be happy. And as odd as it may sound, I hope that one day, you get to experience the real pain of a breakup. Because it will mean it was powerful, romantic, and everything in between. We all deserve this kind of love.